08/06/09 — 1,018 pages: Do we really need two reams of paper for a health care bill?

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1,018 pages: Do we really need two reams of paper for a health care bill?

There needs to be a pop quiz in Washington -- and everyone who plans to cast a vote regarding the future of this country's health care system needs to be required to take it.

The questions will be based on the more than 1,000 pages of text that make up the health care reform proposal -- 1,018 pages of words most of us probably do not believe have been read by even one of the men and women who are trying to shove the bill down Americans' throats.

Now, rest assured, they probably have been briefed on the bill's contents -- either by some unlucky aide assigned to read it or from discussions with party leaders. But it is very unlikely that any senator or congressman really knows what Line 67 on Page 999 says -- or if any of the assertions by those who claim to have read the bill are true.

And perhaps that is part of the problem in Washington -- it takes 1,018 pages of drivel when, really, 500 pages of well-chosen priorities would do just fine. All that bureaucratic gook gets in the way of really effective decision-making and program changes that will make a difference in this country.

And don't listen to lawmakers say it can't be done.

Just look at the Constitution -- it is not 1,000 pages long -- and it set a course for a new nation.

But just in case, it just might be worth reading those 1,018 pages on health care reform -- just to see who is telling the truth about the bill's contents.

Because in the end, if the citizens are the ones who know firsthand what is going on -- honest and informed politicians who make the right decisions are not too far behind.

Published in Editorials on August 6, 2009 10:55 AM